Preserving the Environment

While Our Actions Sometimes Say Otherwise, This New Survey Reveals That We Really Do Care About the Earth

July 25, 2014
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While Our Actions Sometimes Say Otherwise, This New Survey Reveals That We Really Do Care About the Earth
We say we care about our environment, but do we act like it? Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
So let's start doing a better job at energy conservation.

What do you care about more, the environment or your bottom line? As it turns out, Mother Nature is finally trumping bank account balances for most Americans.

A recent survey by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found that Americans care (or at least say they do) more about the environment than energy affordability. In the past, many studies have asked about this subject by posing it as a trade off — a would you rather, in a sense, pitting dollars and cents over birds and bees.

This time around, the research team led by John DeCicco went about it quite differently. By clearly inquiring about the importance of energy cost and environmental impact separately from each other made respondents show their true beliefs, untainted by how they feel about the other.

By asking respondents how they feel about environmental impact, DeCicco was able to show that “roughly 60 percent of respondents said they worried a ‘great deal’ or ‘fair amount’” about it, according to Fast Company. This even held true across multiple income levels.

What’s so groundbreaking about these results? They show that caring about the environment is a natural and popular opinion, which should put more people in support of individual and communal environmental efforts. A similar study was done in October 2013, with results coming in about even, which was impressive at the time, but this newer study shows a great trend in our collective thinking.

So whether it be oil spills or hurricanes or just hotter summer days, Americans seem to be caring more about the place around them. Which is certainly good news for the planet.

MORE: Inspiring the Next Generation of Energy Conservationists

 

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